Astrology

How To Use Astrocartography To Chart Your Future Vacation or Relocation

Photo: Stocksy / Brent Hyll
Some people feel like they need a vacation when they get home from vacation. But what about the decision fatigue that plagues globetrotters on the front end of the planning game? After all, it's exhausting to simply choose a travel destination in the first place. To soak in the hot springs of San Miguel de Allende or swim with the pigs in the Bahamas? Northern lights or southern lights? (Champagne problems, I know.)

Recently, I learned about an astrology discipline that's speaking to my own indecisive, wanderlusty soul: Astrocartography, which, as astrologer Dara Dubinet explains it, is "the astrology of place.”

What Is Astrocartography?

Put simply, astrologers believe different places on Earth hold different planetary energies for each person, based on where and when they were born. Clarisse Monahan, an astrologer and tarot reader explains that Astrocartography “uses the scientific aspects of geography and astronomy showing you which places will have the most significant impact by looking at how the angles in your chart are performing in these new locations.” In other words, the intel can provide insight into the best and worst places for you to live and travel, energetically speaking.

So, if you, say, studied abroad in Melbourne, Australia, and felt a new rush of confidence there, it could be because that city lies on your sun line. ("Lines" are latitude lines that correspond with the major celestial bodies, and they're different for everyone depending on that person's natal astrology chart.) Or, conversely, if you recently moved to New York City and you've felt overworked and weighed down ever since, it could be because the Big Apple's on a Saturn line for you.

While Astrocartography may sound supremely woo-woo, Dubinet contends that it's actually a super-practical life tool. "Any time we're thinking of relocating, traveling, holding a retreat, or having a wedding, it’s good to know what energies the destination holds for us," she says. It's also good to be aware of the vibes of the place where you're living in right now, since they may be affecting you in either a positive or negative way.

As with all forms of astrology, Monahan adds that Astrocartography is simply another tool we can use to help us on our life-long journey of self-discovery.

The History of Astrocartography

It blows my mind that more people aren't talking about astrogeography, given how mainstream astrology has become, but there's a good reason why it's remained under the radar for so long. "Before 1978, it was a very complicated process—it could take days of people measuring and mapping," says Dubinet. But in that year, an astrologer named Jim Lewis streamlined a method to chart out people's personal hot spots more quickly and easily, so more could use the intel, and he trademarked it "Astrocartography." (Dubinet coined the term "astrogeography," but it's essentially the same thing.) And thanks to computers, we're now able to get our own Astrocartography maps with the tap of a trackpad, either by going deep in a session with a pro astrologer or downloading your chart basics for free from astro.com.

If you choose to go the DIY route, however, be warned—it's a lot to take in. To simplify the process, Dubinet has an online Intro to Astrogeography course that shows you how to read your own map, and she, along with Monahan, share a few 101-level nuggets of wisdom about astrogeography (or Astrocartography) below.

How To Decode Your Astrocartography Chart

First, you'll want to establish your own personal Astrocartography chart to guide this process. There are many free Astrocartography tools to help get started, but ultimately, your map must be tailored for your unique astrological self.

Once you've run your own personal map—using your birth date, time, and place—you'll receive a map of the world with tons of crisscrossing colored lines on it. Each of these lines is linked with a certain celestial body, and each one is thought to bring out certain qualities in you when you're in a place near that line.

The best way to make sense of it all, says Dubinet, is to first think about what you're looking to call into your life—a summer fling, financial success, creative inspiration, that kind of thing. Then, determine which planet that desire corresponds with and find that planetary line on your Astrocartography map. Places on or near that line are said to contain the energy of its respective planet. Here's a rundown of each planet's energy, in Dubinet's words:

  • Sun line: "The sun is good for being seen—it gives you a healthy dose of ego. I call it your fame and reputation [line]."
  • Moon line: "The moon represents the divine feminine. It has to do with mothering yourself and others."
  • Mercury line: "Mercury is the planet of communication. Places on your Mercury line would be great for writing a book or activating your interest in something."
  • Venus line: "Venus is the planet of love, beauty, and relationships, as well as design and style."
  • Mars line: "Mars is drive. It's passion. If you want to feel lots of masculine energy, go somewhere on a Mars line."
  • Jupiter line: "Jupiter is the planet of joy, expansion, and abundance. It's a good one."
  • Saturn line: "In the long term, places on your Saturn lines can be aging and bring too much responsibility. But they're certainly good if you want to bring discipline and order into your life—like if you're choosing where to go to college."
  • Uranus line: "If Saturn's like the old man, Uranus is the teenage rebel. It comes in the form of surprises and change."
  • Neptune line: "Neptune is so spiritual, but you can't see things clearly on a Neptune line. You wouldn't necessarily want to live there."
  • Pluto line: "If you need to shake things up, go to a Pluto line—it's gonna cause destruction, but also rebirth and growth."
  • Chiron line: "[The asteroid] Chiron is the magical healer. It gives a little bit of life purpose insight [by indicating] how we're supposed to help others."
  • North and south nodes: "These represent your karma and fate. [Places on the node lines] feel like home, almost as if you'd been there before."

You may notice that some of your lines overlap or cross each other—for instance, my Jupiter and Pluto lines are right on top of each other. This just means that the energies of both are amplified in the places where they meet, says Dubinet.

The Four Cardinal Points in an Astrocartography Chart

Diving a little deeper into your Astrocartography chart, Monahan says there are also cardinal points associated with the four main areas of life: self, relationship, career, and home. “Astrocartography looks at where certain planets in your chart work with or against these cardinal points,” Monahan says. “They do this by taking these points and applying them to each planet, in turn plotting them on a map. We can then use these maps to tap into their energy.”

For example, Monahan shares, “places along a Jupiter MC line will be associated with abundance and luck for career, whereas places along a Jupiter IC line will be more focused on expansion in family and home life.”

You Don't Have To Visit a Place To Experience Its Astrological Energy

Although according to my Astrocartography chart, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is where Dubinet tells me I will experience “explosive abundance,” there's just one problem, as I see it: I'm not about to move there. And as much as I'd love to add that stamp to my passport, I don't think I'll be able to any time soon. The good news is that Dubinet says this doesn't matter....

Of course, being in a given location would seem to be the best way to soak in its energy. And while that may be true, Dubinet claims you can also bring its influence into your life without leaving home. "You can call in the energies from the cosmos wherever you are. There are great ways of bringing them into the place you’re living now, without feeling like you have to relocate."

Immerse Yourself in the Energy of the Destination

For example, let's say France is a particularly lucky place for you according to your Astrocartography chart. If you can't physically go there to soak in its good fortune, Dubinet suggests channeling your inner French girl by listening to French music, watching French movies, wearing clothes by French designers, taking a French cooking class—you get the idea. You can also look for opportunities to connect with people from that place, as they may be able to deliver an important lesson or experience. (BRB, going to swipe for Brazilian guys on Hinge.)

And you may not have to try very hard with the latter. Monahan says many often will naturally sync with people who are from their power lines. “Venus lines, of course, represent romantic connections and these are people you will easily attract and can create harmonious relationships with,” she says. “People from Jupiter lines tend to offer wisdom and knowledge and usually show up as teachers or mentors in life.” Pro tip: If you’re feeling stuck in your dating life, Monahan encourages experimenting with setting up new locations on dating apps to shake things up.

Focus on the Energy of the Astrocartography Line

Furthermore, Monahan says you can also harness the power of your Astrocartography lines by connecting with the energy of the lines themselves. To do so, she recommends choosing one planet you want to work with and focus on the energy that the planet represents. For instance, if you want to connect with your Jupiter line, get to know the planet intimately first. “Jupiter is known as the Greater Benefic, the most positive planet in the sky,” Monahan says. “It is associated with luck, higher wisdom, philosophy, generosity, coherence and expansion.”

From there, Monahan says you can apply the planet’s keywords to the places on your Jupiter line. “Are there certain philosophies from these areas you want to find out more about?,” she says. “Is there a language or culture you want to learn more about? Are there historical books you really want to dig into to find out more about these places?” Get curious and approach the areas through a Jupiter lens.

Don't Stress—There's No Such Thing as a "Bad" Place for You

Let's say that you've got your Astrocartography map and you find out that you're living on a tricky line, like Saturn or Neptune. Remain calm, says Dubinet. "The biggest thing is not to be fearful of the harder lines, because there are things that they all are giving us," she says. "If you chose a more challenging line to live on, it’s only making you stronger and more evolved. It might be the shake-up you need."

Monahan echoes this adding that because everyone’s Astrocartography chart is individual and features a mix of different planets and energies there are no difficult lines. Of course, if you live on an Astrocartography line of a benefic planet (aka the ones with a positive influence) such as Venus and Jupiter, things can be very positive, but only if those planets are in good condition in your chart. “If you have a natal Venus that is being hindered/aspected in a difficult way, moving to this line only agitates and aggravates this situation,” Monahan says.

And vice versa, malefic planets (ones with more challenging energies) such as Mars and Saturn can be tricky to navigate, but for people who have a strong sense of the planets in their charts they can be very productive places for them. “Saturn can be great for completing a body of work, or undertaking a serious study,” Monahan says. “Mars can be perfect if you are someone who thrives in a fast moving, busy energy.”

So again, there’s no such thing as a bad place to be, but rather each place has a different energy to it, and Astrocartography helps you tap into those energies depending on what you need during whatever phase of life you’re in. “Make sure you are moving to [or traveling to] a place that complements your chart and encourages expression of what you are looking to do next in your life,” Monahan says. For example, a high-energy, social place may have been great for you during your young, single days, but as you get ready to start a family, maybe you’re craving a slower, more supportive energy.

The takeaway: Astrocartography can help you better understand the energetic influences of different geographic locations and how they specifically apply to you and your life. Then you plan your travels (or big moves) accordingly.

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